Friday, November 21, 2014

Right, reason, receptive

Lately I keep hearing that verse from the Bible about the folly of doing things that seem right "in our own eyes." In the book of Judges there are two instances (17:6 and 21:25) where it says, "In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes." There is also a Proverb (21:2) that says, "A person may think their own ways are right, but the LORD weighs the heart."

As I see it, the idea is... just because something makes sense to us, that doesn't necessarily mean it is what God wants us to do. Being right in MY eyes, and right in God's eyes may or may not be the same thing. What seems reasonable to me is going to be skewed by my humanity. My point is that for someone who wants to follow God/Jesus/HS, we need to be more open and receptive to what we might be told or led to do by God - through Scripture, prayer, or Godly voices in our life - rather than merely trying to make sense of things ourselves. Living by FAITH can sometimes be quite radical, and sometimes make very little sense.

It made no sense to march around the walls of Jericho, to cross the Red Sea, to put mud on blind eyes, and a whole host of other things that happened in the Bible. It made no sense for me and my family to quit our jobs and sell our possessions to follow what we believed to be God's leading and go to Findlay. It makes no reasonable sense for missionaries to uproot their families, for people to give money to people in need; shoot, it makes no sense to forgive people who have wronged us or to love our neighbors most of the time! It makes no human sense anyway. But God's ways are higher than our ways.

So... I don't know what all this means, but it's been in my head for awhile now. Maybe God is trying to tell me/us it's time to follow him in a way that makes little human sense. Maybe not. We will see. I want to be receptive though. I don't want to miss out.


MR said...

I guess the problem is that in a category as broad as "things that don't make sense" is also gluing your shoes to the wall. And the very word "faith" has been beaten to an absolute pulp by people who simply didn't want to explain themselves for more covert reasons and to manipulate those around them.

It's almost like starting from the sub-basement, where you first decide if you have faith in faith before you can even consider if it's something you should have faith in.

In what crucible can you burn off the humanity in order to see if there is still something left after? Even looking for God in a message or feeling may be considered too much effort toward reasoning.

Great scene in Arthur C. Clark's 2010 where HAL receives a message for Dr. Floyd that didn't come through any human interface.

bill Sloat said...

There's some, uh, Kierkegaardianism? in what you are saying, there bubba.

MR said...

Then it's Bubbaism.

MR said...

And actually, I understand that it's a logic flaw for me to think I can consult on this topic. My calculator will always look for comfort & happiness to the right of the equals sign. Being someone who didn't get enough time with his parents, I will ALWAYS advocate for that where personalities permit. Also my experiences have made me a person who believes that the general chaos of life deals enough hardship that we do not need to inflict more. Just as an accountant would do your taxes and tell you every way to avoid giving a money-hungry government any more than absolutely necessary, I will ALWAYS tell you what yields the most happiness. If that's not the goal, then everything I would say is as irrelevant as an elephant. I would just add the observation that you and your family have already pulled a "tour" and came away wounded, so it's quite a bit to ask. Although you probably know them better than I do. :)